Build it and they will come.
That must be the mantra of Super Bowl veteran Jack Murphy. As president of Nomadic Entertainment, he is overseeing construction of a 62,500-foot, three-tiered temporary nightclub in the Sawyer Yards art district as a performing space for three nights before Super Bowl LI comes to Houston in early February.
Bruno Mars will headline a concert there on Friday February 3, with tickets available on Ticketmaster on December 3. A major to-be-named act will fill the space on Thursday February 2 and Taylor Swift is expected to perform a private concert for fans on Saturday February 4 as part of the AT&T DirecTV Super Saturday Night event (although Murphy would not confirm Swift's appearance).
Murphy and Susan Christian, the mayor's director of special events for the City of Houston, hosted reporters at the site of the new venue on Edwards street as the first large slab of concrete was poured Tuesday morning. Murphy expects steel beams to begin going up on Friday, weather permitting, and the venue, which will hold 9,000 guests, to be completed by mid-January.
Then it will all come down the day after the Super Bowl — minus the concrete floor that will remain for development. "It will be a temporary facility that travels around the world for events," says Murphy, who has been putting together top entertainment shows at Super Bowls since 2009.
At the Super Bowl in Arlington in 2011, Murphy erected a standard tent that barely survived the heavy snows that blanketed North Texas. The Houston venue, dubbed Club Nomadic, will be more far more sophisticated, as renderings show a multi-level glass-enclosed warehouse building that glows at night, offering spectacular views of the downtown Houston skyline.
Murphy worked closely with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and city officials to come up with a temporary space that would conform to Houston's noise restrictions, which will not be relaxed for the Super Bowl, and offer guests a unique experience. They located a large plot of land adjacent to Sawyer Yards in the largely commercial area of silos and warehouses, and began construction this week.
The venue will also include a 6,500-square-foot space with an entrance for VIP guests and performers.
"It's going to be truly a unique, one-of-a-kind, first-ever Houston experience," Christian said. "Exciting things are happening. Houston is such a can-do city. We are a great city to do events in."